STANFORD Stanford's 2013 recruiting class didn't impress the recruiting services, but it did wonders for coach David Shaw's blood pressure.
The 12-player class was sealed weeks ago, allowing Shaw to spend the morning of national signing day watching film and listening to Jack Johnson on Pandora. "There was no suspense in our day," he said Wednesday, after the class became official, "so I had a relaxing morning."
The situation stood in stark contrast to last year's experience, when a tension-filled signing day ultimately produced the highest-ranked class in Stanford history.
The major recruiting services weren't so kind to the Cardinal this time. Scout.com ranked Stanford's class No. 59 nationally, while Rivals.com slotted it four spots lower. Both services ranked the group 11th in the Pacific-12 Conference.
But the rankings are based partly on class size, and Stanford was limited in numbers because it has so few seniors on the 2013 roster. Eliminate quantity from the equation, and Stanford's class ranks fifth in the conference with an average rating of 3.17 stars (out of 5) per player.
"When you combine this class with last year's haul, they did an amazing job and filled all their needs," said Greg Biggins, a national recruiting analyst for Scout and FOX Sports.
The 2013 group includes one quarterback, Ryan Burns of Leesburg, Va., and is heavy on linebackers and tight ends. There is one familiar last name receiver Francis Owusu is the brother of former Cardinal wideout Chris Owusu and one player from the Bay Area: Tight end Austin Hooper from De La Salle in Concord.
Burns has no experience in a pro-style offense but attended Stanford's summer camp two years ago and "blew us away," Shaw said. "He picked things up very quickly."
Cal New coach Sonny Dykes believes he began the process of rebuilding the offensive and defensive lines with his 25-man recruiting class, but potential holes remain as the Bears look forward to spring workouts.
"We addressed exactly what we needed in this class, which is depth on the offensive and defensive lines," Dykes said.
The Bears lost out on four-star offensive guard Cameron Hunt, who signed with Oregon, as expected. But they landed five offensive linemen and eight defensive linemen to play in their new 4-3 alignment.
Dykes said he is "very excited" about the class his staff landed, and the recruiting services gave the Bears solid marks. Cal's class was rated No. 29 nationally by Scout.com and No. 30 by Rivals.com.
There are concerns, however. The Bears missed on two safety prospects they sought and Dykes admitted, "One need we feel we came up a little bit short on is the defensive backs."
Cal signed two cornerbacks, including four-star Darius Allensworth.
Meanwhile, the Bears signed just one running back 5-foot-8 speedster Khalfani Muhammad of Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks and face the prospect of being without a player at that position when spring practice begins Feb. 25. Brendan Bigelow and Daniel Lasco, the Bears' two returnees at the position, both underwent recent minor surgeries.
Dykes anticipates Muhammad will be in the mix as a freshman.
"He's a game-breaker," Dykes said of Muhammad, the 100- and 200-meter state sprint champion.
Dykes said the "Cal brand" was a more powerful recruiting tool than he anticipated but acknowledged that the program's poor academic record was used against the Bears by other Pac-12 schools.